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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » Tile vs. Carpet: Ambient Noise Levels in an IMAX Booth

Author Topic: Tile vs. Carpet: Ambient Noise Levels in an IMAX Booth
Brian Michael Weidemann
Expert cat molester

Posts: 944
From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
Registered: Feb 2004

 - posted 01-16-2005 06:29 AM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our theatre's projection booths have reached the point where the floors just need to be replaced. Currently, everything is carpetted and there's talk about putting in a commercial tiling in the entire 35mm booth; much to the dismay of operators who would rather vacuum than mop.

Our IMAX booth is carpetted and in even more desperate need of replacement, and there's talk that we'll be tiled up there, too. All our walls are padded, and still, it is a loud and obnoxious system. My question is, will the increase in ambient noise be significant when a carpetted booth is transformed into a tiled booth? Are there particular problems with an already loud system like the IMAX GT? Should we keep carpetted patches in certain places, like under the projector itself and the QT?

Anyone else work in a tiled IMAX or other loud projector booth? Tips, suggestions? At this point I think I may still have a say in what may be done, so I'm just throwing it out there for feedback.

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17688
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 01-16-2005 06:33 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Carpet will drastically help the noise level. If you're unhappy with it now, you just wait until you get tiled floors. Then you will run screaming for a new job.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2136
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 01-16-2005 10:28 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
AMC uses tile floors, and lots of ductwork but a painted cement finish on the walls and ceilings. The booth area is ridiculously loud with the AHUs on (the booth itself is the return air duct)and projection systems powered up. This may be a planned thing - it's quite impossible to watch a movie from the booth as the rack monitor is not loud enough to hear the film sound at the observation port over the general racket... the "booth ushers" won't be distracted.
I doubt if a tiled floor in a booth with acoustic ceiling tiles and padded walls will make a crippling difference. At least there's some absorbing surfaces! Most of the noise comes from below the Imax projector, the hood is fairly well insulated and the side covers should have sound absorbing foam attached. I've seen installations where the booth guys enclosed the bottom by extending the sides and front down to the floor, that helps a lot. One booth had magnetic sign material strips over all the gaps in the covers too. A piece of thick carpet on the floor under the machine helps.
Avoid the bumpy rubber "Pirelli" flooring. This stuff is horribly nasty. The Imax booths that have special "clean room" booties or stickypads to clean visitor's shoes are almost all Pirelli floor booths. That's got little or nothing to do with keeping the film clean, they just want to keep the floor from getting footprints on it because although the bump pattern looks cool and futuroidic when clean it shows footprints amazingly well and looks like shit with them - and as a bonus it's ridiculously difficult to clean.
Industrial grey patterned tile wears like iron, doesn't show dirt plus it's easy to clean and it doesn't provide an unending supply of fibre dust like cheap carpet does. Vacuuming every few days keeps the dust down and mopping it once or twice a year should be plenty - assuming you don't track in street mud or spill food.

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Christian Volpi
Master Film Handler

Posts: 349
From: Arlington, NE
Registered: Apr 2004

 - posted 01-16-2005 11:17 AM      Profile for Christian Volpi   Author's Homepage   Email Christian Volpi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I always thought that a carpeted booth caused more film static. The last two booths that I worked in both had carpeted floors and they had really bad staic problems. Film Guard solved most of the problems but it was still very evident. The current booth that I work in has a sealed cement floor and we have very little static problems. Maybe it was just coincidence.

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3835
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000

 - posted 01-16-2005 11:33 AM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All of the IMAX/IMAX Dome booths I've worked in were carpeted, and except for the dome booth (Caesars Palace), plenty noisy. In a small booth like the old Mitsubishi IMAX in LA, I can just imagine how that booth would sound with a hard floor. As it was the operators there wore hearing protection during shows.

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Brian Michael Weidemann
Expert cat molester

Posts: 944
From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
Registered: Feb 2004

 - posted 01-17-2005 04:37 AM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The funny thing is, I'm not unhappy with the current noise level. You work this close to the machine for five years and you come not to mind the sound so much ... in fact, it's an old friend, comforting. Oh, and it would take a lot more than a louder room to make me run screaming from my current gig. Love the people, love the equipment, love the environment ... I'm stickin' around for a while. I think I'm just thinking ahead on account of my hearing. I wouldn't want it to wear out at any more significant a rate than it already is. Besides, at the very least, we've got ear protection.

Although it would be interesting to see the place with tile, just for a change of pace, I think I'd prefer a good ol' re-carpetting. Hmmm ... this time in BLUE!

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Dan Suomi
Film Handler

Posts: 53
From: Aurora/Oswego, IL
Registered: Jul 2004

 - posted 01-17-2005 12:57 PM      Profile for Dan Suomi   Author's Homepage   Email Dan Suomi   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All IMAX booths that I have been in have carpet. All 35mm booths I've been in have tile. I would stay with carpet in the IMAX booth if I were you.

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 01-17-2005 01:45 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Christian Volpi
I always thought that a carpeted booth caused more film static.
Not true. I suspect people blame the carpeting because they get more static shocks from walking across untreated carpeting, but it's just an indication that the booth conditions are too dry, making anything without a path to ground more prone to static buildup. Do be sure that all equipment the film touches is well grounded. Treat any carpeting with a topical conductive antistat, or get conductive carpeting. Ideally, keep the relative humidity between 50 and 60 percent.

Kodak VISION Color Print film has a transparent conductive anti-static backing layer, that greatly reduces static buildup on the film, as long as there is a path to ground through the equipment.

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